After a nightmarish 8th inning against the Twins on Sunday and a horribly played game against the Devil Rays last night, the the magic returned tonight with a 10-4 victory over the Rays. Justin Verlander didn't have his best stuff tonight and gave up more than one run (3 runs on 8 hits) for the first time since June 23. However it was a big night for the hitters as they collected 18 hits including 4 home runs and there were some very impressive individual highlights:
Carlos Guillen hit for the cycle, the 1oth in Tiger history and the first since Damion Easley accomplished the feat on June 8, 2001. Guillen is quietly having an outstanding season batting .306/.390/.515. His .905 OPS and his 6.86 runs created per 27 outs are second to Derek Jeter among Major League shortsops.
Brent Clevlen hit his first two Major League home runs, both of them monster shots to center field. He went 3-5 for the night and is now 5-8 with two outfield assists in his first 3 games. That is pretty good for a kid who was hitting .224 in AA this year. I still expect him to get sent back to Erie once he cools down but this has got to help his confidence. If he does get sent back, hopefully he'll follow up with a great finish at Erie and a strong AFL season.
Sean Casey had his Tiger debut tonight and he made it a good one. He went 2 for 5 and hit his first home run since May 29. Who says he has no power?
In a season full of pitching and fielding gems, this one was definitely a night of memorable hitting highlights. It was also a relief for Tiger fans after the poor play of the previous two games.